For the final edition of our Back to Basics 21st Birthday interview series there was only really one person we could talk to; Basics founder, the ultimate ‘purveyor of good times‘ and all round good guy... Dave Beer.
Since 1991 Dave has lived, ate and breathed Basics. From us and everyone else in Leeds (and beyond) thanks for all the hard work, and bring on the celebrations!
Thanks for taking the time to do this Dave. After 21 years in the business, you’ve hosted some of the biggest names in dance - giving people like Daft Punk their first ever UK gig. Of your many guests over the years who have you stayed in contact with the most?
Yeah that the beauty of my job, I get to meet all my favorite acts. I tend to keep close relationships with all the artists that play basics. It’s always been very important for us to give DJs the best possible time when they come to Leeds and generally lots of them have never been to Leeds. Its kinda crazy that with artists, such as Daft Punk or Basement Jaxx, it doesn’t matter how big they get we always stay in touch and we’re always bumping in to each other in different parts of the globe. That’s the beautiful thing about music – it brings people together and its something we have in common, it creates a very strong bond! In short; I’ve stayed in contact with all of them!
We’re really looking forward to the ‘Tales of Glamour and Excess’ film coming out next year. Can you give us a little taster of what to expect and where will we be able to watch it?
Yes the film is shaping up really nicely at the moment and it’s starting to look great. Klaudia and Tom have been filming intensively over the past few months getting in all the final interviews and collating all the archive footage. It seems like an impossible task but they’re doing a great job. There are some great interviews with DJs and clubbers alike. The film will be completed in January and then it’s going to film festivals around the globe. I’m not sure of the plans but they are currently pitching it to channel 4.
I’m sure Basics takes up near enough 100% of your time, but when you get a free minute what are you into at the moment?
Basics takes up 200% of my time and when I’m not doing Basics I’m either listening to music or making music in the studio. I have a new track coming out on Back to Basics Recordings with the legendary Robert Owens on vocals, its called ‘For The Beloved’. It’s a song I penned about my best friends past and present and its part of my project called ‘The Blessed’. If I’m not living and breathing music, I like to spend time with my son and my daughter and these days I’m really enjoying keeping fit either skateboarding, mountain biking or hitting the gym (yes… I did say the gym).
Of all the venues Basics has called home over the years, which one holds the best memories?
I’ve loved every one of the venues all for different reasons, each one has very special memories and they're all land marks in the tapestry of my life. I always have people coming up to me telling me which was their favorite venue and why, but they’ve all been my babies, so in that respect you’ll never forget your firstborn. Although it’s a bit of a blur – the one closest to my heart would be the Music Factory. You could say they were the halcyon years and also the very first year when my partner Ally was alive – we could hardly believe what was going on, it was absolute hedonistic mayhem.
Your DJ sets at Basics, are somewhat of a rarity these days. Are you looking forward to digging out some tunes on Saturday?
Yeah I’m really looking forward to it, the reason for my sets being somewhat of a rarity is when you have the best resident DJs in the country topped with the very finest house and guest DJs I find that the best place to be is on the dancefloor. But I do enjoy getting behind the decks and saving it for special occasions such as birthdays, etc. Its nice to dig out the old favorites and add some new favorites in there as well.
Over the years, we’ve admired your fancy dress efforts from afar. Do you know what you’ll be donning for Saturday’s ‘Back to the Future’ theme?
Year after year it gets more difficult to come up with something as good as it was the year before – you’d think after 21 years that I’d come up with a theme where I had an idea of what I was going to wear or what I was going as. This year has been no exception. Last years theme was pretty easy in comparison to this year’s futuristic theme – but as I do every year I’m going to come in my birthday suit.
Finally, where do you see Basics in five years?
I’m a big believer of living in the now – to be truthful, when we started the club I thought we’d get 6 months. Its unbelievable to think that we’d still be going 21 years later; wherever we are in 5 years you can be sure things wont be there same as they are now! We always keep evolving to keep things exciting. One thing that is important to me now is the next generation, as with the birthday party ‘looking into the future’, I’ve been planning on opening a Back to Basics music academy for some time now. This will teach people DJ and production skills, so that’s definitely something I see being fully established in 5 years time. The first of our music academy sessions is a Q+A session with Chez Damier at our record store The Waxwerks, during the afternoon of the birthday. Feel free to come and join us!
Back to Basics 21st Birthday [Part 2]
Saturday 24th November
The Garage, Leeds
+ Residents (Ralph Lawson, Tristan Da Cunha, Buckley, James Holroyd, Burnski, Frenchy)
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Article by Alex Ogilvie
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